Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, health care or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible (J. Mann, 2013). I never knew about rights human applying to patients until I started doing clinicals in my 3rd year. It is so hurting and heart breaking to see that most of the health professionals do not pay attention to the rights of the patients. One of the placements I’ve been to, I got to experience or witness a health professional abusing the rights of the patients and students. In placements students are there to learn not to do all the clinician’s work, but it happened that the clinician always book lot of patients for us and she never even see one of them but instead walk up and down the hospital the whole day.
I would say we are restricted from freedom of slavery, because I felt like a slave not even having lunch during lunch time due to the number of patients booked for that day. We worked from 8h30 until 15h00 with no break in between. It was an everyday thing not just one day, hence was always not looking forward to go to that placement. Patient complained to me saying that when they come for physiotherapy sheets are always dirty and not changed. Every patient has a right to a health environment but patients were not getting that at all and that made them not to get any better.
Every patient have a right to access health care, in that hospital patients would travel and walk from different places to there for their physiotherapy appointments but most of the time when they get the they will find a note on the door saying physiotherapy department is closed. Sometimes when they get there they appointments will cancelled and re-scheduled for another day without any reason. In that way they have no access to health care and their conditions do not improve, getting worse instead. Patients would complain about the poor service and they complained about the service but nothing was done about it, while patients have a right to complain about the health services.
Precisely what these rights mean will vary with the circumstances. If a patient considers his or her rights have been ignored or interfered with by a health professional, then the patient may complain to that provider’s professional body, the Commissioner for Health and Community Services Complaints (J. Cohen and C. Beyrer, 2007). According to open society institute patients are often unaware of their rights, including the right to information on their condition and the right to access their medical records.
- Mann, 2013 Health and human rights. New York reader journal
Open Society Institute, Health and human rights: A resource guide (New York: Open Society Institute, 2007)
- Cohen and C. Beyrer, 2007. Human rights and public health ethics. Evidence-based approaches